Paris Bank Robbers Dig Way Into Vault

05/30/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Daring robbers have dug their way into the basement of a Parisian bank, and may have stolen the contents of up to 200 safety deposit boxes.

The theft occurred on Saturday night at a branch of Credit Lyonnais in central Paris. Using machines designed for construction, the robbers were able to drill and burn through a two-and-a-half-feet thick wall to gain entry to the vault.

Once inside they tied up a security guard who had overheard them and spent 9 hours emptying the deposit boxes. As they left, the robbers set fire to the vault.

The security guard escaped unharmed, yet damage from the fire and the water sprinkler system may have destroyed valuable forensic evidence.

Due to the secretive nature of the deposit boxes, it is unknown how much money was stolen, or even how many have been tampered with.

The heist has reminded many of the notorious Spaggiari Affair from 1976, when Albert Spaggiari and his gang spent two days and three nights digging into the vaults of a Societe Generale branch in Nice.

Spaggiari was later caught but escaped at his trial by jumping out of a window and speeding away on a motorbike. He died, still free, in 1989.